Hiring physician assistant

Put your best foot forward: How to onboard and train your new physician assistant

Published on March 7th, 2023


As a recruiter, talent sourcer, or hiring manager, you're no stranger to the challenges of finding and hiring the right physician assistant for your organization. With physician assistants in high demand, it can be tough to stand out in a crowded job market. However, by thinking outside the box, you can uncover new and creative ways to attract top talent and find the perfect fit for your team. In this blog post, we'll share some unconventional strategies for hiring physician assistants and help you take your recruitment efforts to the next level.

Why physician assistants are in demand:

The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, and physician assistants are increasingly becoming an integral part of the care team. With the rise of telehealth and the need for more flexible and cost-effective care models, physician assistants are uniquely positioned to provide high-quality medical care while also improving patient satisfaction. Moreover, physician assistants can assist in various clinical settings, including primary care, emergency departments, and specialty practices.

The benefits of hiring physician assistants:

By hiring a physician assistant, you can benefit from their specialized training, clinical skills, and experience. Physician assistants can help your organization increase efficiency, improve patient outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs. They can take on various responsibilities, including conducting patient exams, developing treatment plans, and administering medications. Additionally, physician assistants can provide valuable support to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, enabling your organization to operate more smoothly and effectively.

The importance of a thorough hiring process:

While it's tempting to rush through the hiring process, taking the time to conduct a thorough search and evaluation can pay off in the long run. By carefully vetting candidates and ensuring that they're a good fit for your organization, you can reduce turnover, improve productivity, and avoid costly hiring mistakes. With that in mind, let's explore some creative ways to find and hire physician assistants.

Understanding the role of a physician assistant

Before we dive into creative ways to find and hire physician assistants, let's take a moment to understand their role in the healthcare industry.

Definition of a physician assistant:

A physician assistant (PA) is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a licensed physician. PAs can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, and perform medical procedures, among other responsibilities. They work in various clinical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices, and collaborate with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive patient care.

Their job responsibilities:

As mentioned earlier, physician assistants have a wide range of job responsibilities. They can conduct patient exams, order diagnostic tests, develop treatment plans, and perform procedures such as suturing and casting. Additionally, they can provide patient education and counseling, assist with surgeries, and manage chronic illnesses. With their specialized training and clinical skills, physician assistants can help improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

Education and certification requirements:

To become a physician assistant, candidates must complete a master's degree program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The program typically takes two years to complete and includes classroom and clinical training. After completing the program, candidates must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) to obtain a license to practice as a PA.

So, now that we have a better understanding of the role of a physician assistant, let's explore some creative ways to find and hire them.

Creative ways to find and hire physician assistants

Host a "Bring a PA to work" day:

Hosting a "Bring a PA to work" day can be a fun and effective way to attract potential candidates to your organization. Invite current physician assistants to bring a colleague or friend who may be interested in working with your team. Provide a tour of your facilities, introduce them to key staff members, and showcase your organization's culture and values. You can also offer incentives, such as a gift card or a free lunch, to attendees.

Create a referral program:

Word of mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to recruiting physician assistants. Consider creating a referral program that rewards current employees who refer qualified candidates. This can help you tap into your existing network and find candidates who are a good fit for your organization. Make sure to promote your referral program on social media and your organization's website.

Offer a student loan repayment program:

Many physician assistants graduate with significant student loan debt. Offering a student loan repayment program can be an attractive incentive for potential candidates. This can also help you stand out from other employers and attract top talent. Make sure to promote your student loan repayment program in your job postings and recruitment materials.

Attend PA conferences:

Attending PA conferences can be a great way to connect with potential candidates and learn about the latest trends and best practices in the field. Consider sponsoring a booth or speaking at a conference to showcase your organization and job opportunities. You can also network with other healthcare professionals and build relationships with potential candidates.

Leverage social media influencers:

Social media influencers, such as healthcare bloggers and Instagrammers, can be a powerful tool for reaching potential candidates. Consider partnering with influencers who have a large following in the healthcare industry to promote your organization and job opportunities. You can also sponsor social media posts and ads to reach a wider audience.

By thinking outside the box and trying new recruitment strategies, you can find and hire top physician assistant candidates. With their specialized training and clinical skills, physician assistants can help your organization improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. So, get creative and start recruiting!

Creating a job description for a physician assistant

Now that we've covered some creative ways to find and hire physician assistants, let's focus on crafting an effective job description that attracts the right candidates.

Key skills and qualifications to look for:

When creating a job description for a physician assistant, it's important to highlight the key skills and qualifications that are necessary for the role. These may include:

A master's degree from an accredited physician assistant program Active certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Clinical experience in a relevant setting, such as primary care or surgery Excellent communication and interpersonal skills Strong critical thinking and problem-solving abilities Ability to work independently and as part of a team By emphasizing these skills and qualifications in your job description, you can attract candidates who are a good fit for your organization and the role.

How to tailor your job description to attract the right candidates

To attract the right candidates, it's important to tailor your job description to your organization's unique culture and values. Consider incorporating information about your organization's mission, vision, and values, as well as any perks or benefits that set you apart from other employers.

For example, if your organization prioritizes work-life balance, you may want to highlight flexible scheduling options or generous paid time-off policies in your job description. If you have a strong commitment to community service, you may want to emphasize your organization's volunteer opportunities and community partnerships.

Tips for writing an effective job description

Here are some tips for writing an effective job description for a physician assistant:

Use clear and concise language: Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be difficult for candidates to understand. Use clear and concise language to describe the role and its responsibilities.

Highlight the benefits of working for your organization: In addition to highlighting the key skills and qualifications required for the role, make sure to emphasize the benefits of working for your organization. This may include competitive salary and benefits packages, opportunities for career growth and development, and a positive work culture.

Include a call to action: Make sure to include a call to action at the end of your job description, encouraging candidates to apply for the role. Provide clear instructions on how to apply, and include any relevant contact information or application deadlines.

By following these tips and tailoring your job description to your organization's unique culture and values, you can attract top physician assistant candidates who are a good fit for your team.

In conclusion, hiring physician assistants can be a challenging but rewarding process. By thinking outside the box and incorporating creative recruitment strategies, as well as crafting an effective job description, you can find and hire top talent for your organization. So, get creative and start recruiting today!

Sourcing and attracting physician assistant candidates

Now that you know how to craft an effective job description, let's explore some creative ways to source and attract physician assistant candidates.

### Where to find physician assistant candidates:

There are several traditional and non-traditional places where you can find physician assistant candidates, including:

Online job boards and professional associations: Post your job on job boards like Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn. You can also post on professional associations like the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) or the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).

Referrals from current employees: Encourage your current employees to refer qualified candidates for the position. Offer incentives for successful referrals, such as bonuses or extra paid time off.

Social media: Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to advertise your job posting and reach a wider audience.

Industry events and conferences: Attend industry events and conferences to network with physician assistants and other healthcare professionals.

### Tips for reaching out to potential candidates:

When reaching out to potential candidates, it's important to be strategic and personal in your approach. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Use personalized messaging: Avoid sending generic messages to potential candidates. Instead, use personalized messaging that speaks to their skills and experience.

Highlight the benefits of the role: In addition to discussing the role's responsibilities, make sure to highlight the benefits of working for your organization, such as competitive salary and benefits packages, opportunities for career growth and development, and a positive work culture.

Be persistent but respectful: Follow up with candidates who haven't responded to your initial outreach, but make sure to be respectful of their time and schedule.

Best practices for employer branding:

Employer branding is crucial when it comes to attracting top physician assistant talent. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Emphasize your organization's mission and values: Make sure to emphasize your organization's mission, values, and commitment to patient care. Highlight any unique aspects of your organization that set you apart from other employers.

Invest in your organization's culture: Create a positive and supportive work culture by investing in your employees' professional development, offering flexible scheduling options, and providing opportunities for community service.

Build relationships with potential candidates: Maintain ongoing relationships with potential candidates, even if they aren't the right fit for your current openings. This can help you build a pipeline of top talent for future roles.

By following these creative sourcing and attraction strategies and investing in your employer branding, you can find and hire top physician assistant candidates who are a great fit for your organization. So, get creative and start sourcing today!

Screening and interviewing physician assistant candidates

As you start the screening process, it's essential to have a clear understanding of what you're looking for in a candidate. When hiring physician assistants, it's not just about their education and experience but also about their personality traits and work style. Here are some tips for conducting an effective screening process:

Review resumes thoroughly: Look beyond the candidate's education and work experience. Pay attention to the skills they have listed and the type of positions they've held. This can give you an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.

Use behavioral interview questions: Ask questions that give you an idea of how the candidate would behave in different scenarios. For instance, "Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult patient. How did you manage the situation?"

Evaluate their communication skills: Communication is critical for physician assistants, so make sure to assess their communication skills. During the interview, pay attention to how well they articulate their thoughts and whether they actively listen to your questions.

Watch out for red flags: Be alert to warning signs during the interview process, such as a lack of enthusiasm for the job or negative comments about their previous employer. These could be signs that the candidate is not the right fit for your organization.

By using these screening techniques, you can better identify top physician assistant candidates and move them forward in the hiring process.

Onboarding and training physician assistants

Once you have found and hired the right physician assistant, it's essential to provide them with a comprehensive onboarding and training process to ensure they can hit the ground running. Here are some tips for onboarding and training your new physician assistant:

Develop a structured onboarding process: A structured onboarding process can help your new physician assistant feel welcome and supported from day one. Make sure to provide them with a clear understanding of your organization's culture, policies, and expectations.

Provide training and development opportunities: Physician assistants need ongoing training and development to keep up with the latest medical advances and best practices. Consider offering them opportunities to attend conferences, workshops, and online courses.

Assign a mentor or preceptor: Assigning a mentor or preceptor can help your new physician assistant adjust to their new role more quickly. A mentor or preceptor can also provide guidance and support as they navigate their new responsibilities.

Regular check-ins: Regular check-ins can help you stay on top of your new physician assistant's progress and provide them with feedback on their performance. Use these check-ins to discuss any concerns or questions they may have and provide them with constructive feedback to help them grow in their role.

By taking the time to onboard and train your new physician assistant, you can ensure they feel supported and set up for success in their new role. Remember, a well-trained and supported physician assistant can bring many benefits to your organization, including improved patient care and increased efficiency.

Retaining physician assistants

Retaining physician assistants is crucial to the success of any organization. These highly-skilled professionals play an essential role in providing quality patient care, and losing them can be costly in terms of time and resources. To keep physician assistants engaged and motivated, here are some creative strategies to try:

Offer opportunities for professional development: Physician assistants are always looking to improve their skills and knowledge. By providing them with opportunities for continuing education, you can help them stay engaged and motivated. You could consider paying for their attendance at conferences or offering in-house training programs.

Create a positive workplace culture: A positive workplace culture is essential for retaining any employee. Physician assistants want to work in an environment where they feel respected, valued, and supported. Encourage collaboration, provide positive feedback, and show appreciation for their hard work.

Provide a good work-life balance: Burnout is a real concern for physician assistants, who often work long hours and deal with high levels of stress. By offering flexible schedules, paid time off, and other benefits that promote work-life balance, you can help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Address concerns quickly: When physician assistants have concerns, it's essential to address them quickly. They want to know that their employer values their feedback and takes their concerns seriously. Actively listening and taking action to address any issues can go a long way in retaining physician assistants.

Offer competitive compensation and benefits: Physician assistants are highly skilled and in demand. By offering competitive compensation and benefits packages, you can attract and retain the best talent. Consider offering bonuses, healthcare benefits, and retirement plans.

In conclusion, retaining physician assistants requires a proactive approach that prioritizes their needs and well-being. By offering opportunities for professional development, creating a positive workplace culture, providing work-life balance, addressing concerns quickly, and offering competitive compensation and benefits, you can keep your physician assistants engaged, motivated, and committed to your organization.

As you wrap up your journey of hiring a physician assistant, keep in mind the importance of understanding their role and creating an effective job description. Be creative and think outside the box when sourcing and attracting candidates. When screening and interviewing candidates, focus on their behavioral patterns and potential red flags. Don't forget the importance of onboarding, training, and retaining your new hire. And always keep your organization's culture and employee engagement in mind.

By following these tips and best practices, you can successfully find and hire a physician assistant that fits your organization's needs. Remember, the process of hiring is ongoing, and it's essential to continuously evaluate and adapt your approach to attract and retain the best talent. So, put on your thinking cap and get ready to hire your next superstar physician assistant!

At HireQuotient, we offer a range of services to help you find and hire the best candidates for your organization. Our skill assessments and video assessments allow you to evaluate candidates quickly and efficiently, while our talent-sourcing services help you identify and reach out to potential candidates who may not be actively searching for a new position. By utilizing our services, you can not only streamline your hiring process but also ensure that you are making informed decisions based on objective data. Whether you need to assess a candidate's technical skills, evaluate their communication abilities, or find top talent in a competitive market, HireQuotient has the tools and expertise to help you succeed.



Thomas M. A.

A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.

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